Marxe School Undergrads Selected as Interns in the New York State Assembly
Pictured above: 12 students from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs are NY State Assembly and NY State Senate interns during the spring semester.
Nine students, who are majoring in public affairs at Baruch College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, are gaining first-hand experience in government and the legislative process as they participate in the 2019 New York State Assembly Session Internship program in Albany.
Besides providing career-enhancing experiences, the four-month program includes academic requirements, regular evaluations, and a major research project. During the semester, the undergraduates earn while they learn, receiving a $6,200 stipend from the Assembly, plus $2,000 from The City University of New York (CUNY) to cover living expenses.
Marxe students in the Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs Program (BSPA) are well-prepared to take on the demands of this sought-after internship, and have represented the majority of all CUNY students selected as Assembly interns during the past three years.
“The BSPA program is unique in that both courses and internships play an integral role throughout the entire curriculum. This means that students have the opportunity to continually apply the knowledge and skills garnered from their courses while engaged in substantive experiences with both prestigious nonprofit organizations and government agencies,” said Melissa A. Sultana, deputy director of Academic Programs at the Marxe School.
Sultana added, “Acting as stepping stones to their desired career, BSPA students are often involved in multiple internships, building on one valuable opportunity after another as they prepare for their futures and seek to have a lasting impact on the world.”
Based in the state capital, Kathleen McCarty directs the New York State Assembly Session Internship program.
Meet the 2019 New York State Assembly Session Interns
This year’s interns represent diverse backgrounds, and aspire to a range of career goals. Each one is assigned to an Assembly member, who have districts throughout New York State.
Amalia Albertson (’20), intern for Ellen Jaffee, D, 97th AD – Orangeburg, Pearl River, Suffern
As a Public Affairs major, my primary interest is in social services, specifically providing for women and children in need, especially New York City’s homeless mothers and families. I believe that my involvement with any form of public service to aid low-income communities will be a fulfilling career. As an Assembly session intern, I can continue my goals of learning all I can about the operations within my local government while also working with an Assembly member who cares about political issues I feel strongly about. This opportunity will educate me on how the inner workings of the New York State government are achieved and if it is the right place for me.
Abdoul Balde (’20), intern for Félix W. Ortiz, D, 51st AD – Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, Sunset Park
I was born in Guinea, West Africa. Despite coming from a low-income family, my parents did what they could to provide me with an education. It was through the lottery Diversity Visa program that I came to New York six years ago. As a Public Affairs major, my principal interests are social services and community development. During my Assembly internship, I hope to gain a better understanding of the legislative process, learn how the New York State Assembly functions, and grow my network of friends. After my graduation, I am planning to work as a public servant.
Courtney Gervais (’21), intern for Charles Fall, D, 61st AD – Staten Island
I became a Public Affairs major because I have always been interested in politics and government and want to become active on the city or state level. I am interested primarily in the environment, education, and overall community development. I hope to learn about how members address issues voiced by their constituents, especially when Assembly districts are significantly smaller than Senate districts. Being able to effect changes on a state level by convincing majorities of both legislatures that a particular bill should be passed is a difficult task, and one that I want to witness firsthand.
Walter Holzberg (’20), intern for Jonathan Jacobson, D, 104th AD – Dutchess, Orange & Ulster Counties
My primary interests within public affairs revolve around community development, especially in furthering the interests of my own Jewish community. The main thing I hope to gain from my Assembly internship is a better sense of how legislation moves through state government while being able to see how my abilities translate into working in a government office. My interest in state government began during my internship with the New York City Council; now that I have seen the insides of how the Council runs, I want to see things at the state level.
Exequiel Mignaton (’21), intern for Phillip Ramos, D, 6th AD – Brentwood, Central Islip
I was born in Argentina and came to the United States with my parents at the age of six, as they sought better educational opportunities for my siblings and me. Coming from a place of constant fiscal instability, as well as living with the struggles that all DACA students face, my interests always seemed to revolve around politics. As a Public Affairs major, I currently see myself pursuing a career in international affairs, community development or education. As a first-generation college student, a minority and above all an immigrant, I am part of the minority who want to be represented and who are tired of being looked down on and ridiculed. I want to have the opportunity to help the unhealthy, the poor, the uneducated, the elderly, the mistreated, the hungry and the young. I want to help those who cannot help themselves, because once upon a time I needed that help.
Aissata Moussa (’19), intern for Catherine Nolan, D, 37th AD – Queens
I am a first generation American. My parents moved to the United States from West Africa to take advantage of the opportunities the U.S. has to offer, especially a better education. I am passionate about social change, especially education reform and closing the achievement gap. My experiences volunteering for nonprofit organizations such as Global Potential and the Red Hook Youth Court, have influenced my aspirations of empowering and enlightening youth and my decision to major in Public Affairs. With my internship, I hope to gain a better understanding of state government and to connect with individuals, who like me, are passionate and committed to making our world a better place.
Ifueko Omorogebee (’19), intern for Michael Benedetto, D, 82nd AD – Bronx
My primary interest is law, and education policy, particularly the development of curriculum to match the needs of underserved communities. As an Assembly intern, I hope to learn more about the legislative process and how policy that shapes K-12 education is developed. I hope to work as counsel in the U.S.
Diana Rodriguez (’19), intern for Carmen De La Rosa, D, 72nd AD – Washington Heights
As a teen growing up, helping people in need has always meant a great deal to me. In 2011, I started a program called Skate4Jesus in New York City, which involves local skateboards who get together to deliver meals to the homeless community in midtown Manhattan. The Assembly Senate Internship will provide me with an opportunity to observe firsthand how the legislature works to enhance the lives of all New Yorkers, as well as helping me to develop my own leadership skills. I look forward to working with other students who have a similar desire to serve the citizens of New York. I will also be able to learn more directly other aspects of leadership from Assembly members who are working to meet the needs of their constituents.
Diana R. Rodriguez (’19), intern for Catalina Cruz, D, 39th AD – Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst
In 1999, when I was a year and a half old, my parents immigrated to the United States hoping to build a better future for their children. As a DACA student, law and government have always been appealing to me. I truly enjoy classes in which I can learn about communities and social problems that affect me on a daily basis. Being part of the Assembly Internship will allow me to continue expanding my knowledge of public policy and to see first-hand the complexity of the legislative process. I want to be able to inspire others and help to develop leaders in my community, making sure they know that, in spite of the challenges they face, they can accomplish what they dream.
Take a Virtual Tour:
Join student Aissata Moussa for a virtual tour of the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs to learn more.
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(Story published on 4/5/19)